Source of wealth: Myanmma Awba Group
Address: No.33, Shwe Padauk Yeikmon, Bayint Naung Rd, Kamayut Tsp, YANGON
Business: Agro Chemical Products, Insecticide & Fertilizer, Distribution of Seeds, Microfinancing
Young Entrepreneur Thadoe Hein has built Myanma Awba Group into Myanmar’s leading player in agricultural inputs. His group focuses on importing, manufacturing and distributing fertilizers, seeds and agrochemicals. The group also invests in microfinance schemes.
“Access to financing is a challenge for farmers and Myanmar needs to invest in farming infrastructure to lower the cost of cultivation and improve productivity.”
Thadoe Hein is founder and chairman of Myanma Awba Group, formed in 1995 and renowned for its expertise in the manufacture and distribution of agricultural supplies across Myanmar. His group particularly focus on crop protection and nutrition, high quality hybrid and OP seeds, agrochemicals and fertilizers, microfinance and mobile payments, digital tools, farm advisory and modern farming methods, manufacturing and logistics. It employs more than 2,500 people, of which 1,000 are agronomists. The group has a significant social impact, providing agricultural inputs, finance and extension services to around three million out of the seven million farming families in Myanmar.
Thadoe Hein previously worked as the liaison officer for his parents, who represented a Danish company, Cheminova. In the early 1990s, he distributed Cheminova’s products, before venturing into the import and distribution of agricultural chemicals. His good management skills and vision have made Myanma Awba the market leader with innovative products and customized solutions. After two decades, his group has the largest agrotechnical team in ASEAN.
In 1997, Thadoe Hein launched his popular “Comet” foliar fertilizer and new modern insecticide technologies. In 2003, he founded Ayeyarwaddy Seeds to import and distribute quality hybrid seeds. In 2005, he introduced worldrenowned Nitrophoska brand complex fertilizers from Fertiva, Germany. In 2007, he built Myanmar Pesticides Industry, the first and only privatelyowned pesticides formulation plant in Myanmar. His group has the first chemical formulation plant in Myanmar and steam granulation compound fertilizer plant which produces seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals. In 2012, Maha Awba Microfinance was established to provide farmers with much-needed financial support.
Popular brands produced by Myanma Awba include Evogro, Myanma Kaung Thu Kha, Wisarra and Myanma Awba. Its business units include Maha Awba Microfinance, Myanmar Pesticides Industries, Myanma
Awba Fertilizers, Ayeyarwaddy Seeds, Piti Pyae Sone and Myanma Awba Agro- chemicals.
Thadoe Hein has also served as the managing director of Shwe Kawa Myay (SKM) company. In 2010, SKM built a K3 billion (US$3 million) mill in Bago Region to export high-quality rice to Europe. Presently, he serves in several corporate boards including that of Thuti Industrial Chemicals, Ayeyarwarddy Seeds, Piti Pyae- zone Manufacturing and Logistics Wisarra International, and Myanmar Pesticides Industries.
In February 2016, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) awarded Myanma Awba US$10 million in a loan-to-equity deal, to partially fund the development of a new agro-chemicals plant in Yangon, valued at a total cost of US$25 million.
In April 2016, IFC said it would remit US$7.5 million to Myanma Awba. The financing, which included US$1.5 million equity injection and US$6 million in loans would go to the expansion of Myanma Awba’s rural finance service. Since 2012, the IFC has consistently provided loans to various sectors in Myanmar, including small and medium enterprises in agriculture, banking, retail, tourism and hotels.
In December 2016, Myanma Awba started work on building an IFC-financed agricultural pesticide factory in Yangon. Once complete, this factory will produce both liquid and powder-based pesticides to meet at least 50% of the total demand for crop protection chemicals in Myanmar. His group will invest US$15 million in the project, of which US$10 million will come from a convertible loan from IFC.
Thadoe Hein presently chairs Myanmar Fertilizer, Seeds and Agrochemical Entrepreneur Association; and is membership chair of the Young President Organization. He is also the Joint Secretary General of the Union of Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), which holds considerable influence in Myanmar hosting foreign delegations, connecting international firms with local partners and lobbying the government on economic policy. Myanmar firms must be UMFCCI members to extend company registration, secure an import-export license, and receive the mandatory country-of-origin certificates to provide to their foreign buyers.